Wednesday, July 13, 2011

News From The Publishing World - 13 JUL 2011

Here are some interesting clips from around the horn in the world of publishing:

It's a good day to be a writer, from Forbes, DTD 6 JUN 2011.

Book Expo, the publishing industry's annual convention was recently held in NY and one of the things to come out of it was that that with digital writing and publishing coupled with social networking has indeed revolutionized the book business, giving authors more say-so.

Publishers, more traditional one, have been slow to get on the bandwagon. Most books they release release lose 80-90 percent. They don't even earn their advances. Many have come to realize that the old marketing methods don't work. Social networking is where it's at.

The Old:
$50K ad spot in the NY Times.
20+ city booktour w/1st class in airplanes, limos & hotel suites.
Appearance on TV shows.

The New:
Word to mouth generates the buzz. If an author can you use social media to connect to readers, they generate buzz. Blogging, websites, Facebook, Tweeter, You Tube and social networking are (free) and have a better chance of reaching those readers who might be interested in the work, whether it’s an ambitious literary novel or genre romance, sci-fi and mystery, paranormal or super-wholesome faith-based inspirational stories. And the author can work from home in their PJs if they want!

Wwe’ve all heard about Amanda Hocking, The Shack (ten million copies sold), Chicken Soup for the Soul, John Locke, Stephanie McAfee (Diary of a Mad Fat Girl), Bella Andre, and the phenomenal success of Joe Konrath and his many self-published titles.

That’s why more authors are diving into self-publishing. As author work at their own self-marketing, which if oftentimes inexpensive, they are starting to see more results. The most challenging part is writing the book that will create the buzz.



Your Publisher should not be your Agent

I think on it's face alone that it's common sense that your agent should NOT be your publisher. Look at this way, if the agent does become the publisher than they are now a principal in the transaction. Conflict of interest because now the agent is looking out for #1 and the CLIENT, ie the writer should be #1.

Agency law makes it clear that an agent must not engage in self-dealing, or otherwise unduly enrich himself from the agency. Nor must an agent usurp an opportunity from the principal by taking it for himself.

In recent weeks, there have been a spate of agents who have cut deals on behalf of their clients with… themselves. One such involved the agent to the estate of the late author Catherine Cookson. According to the Daily Mail, the literary agent didn’t even inform the author’s publishers, Transworld and Simon & Schuster, that she’d done a deal – with herself – to digitally publish 100 of the author’s titles. “I haven’t told either firm about the deal”, she said, “and I am sure they are going to kick up a fuss about it”.

Yes, I bet they will.


New Ebook Reader:
Google eBooks is partnering with Korean electronics manufacturer iriver to release the Story HD, an e-book reading device integrated with the Google eBooks platform. The Story HD is an e-ink device with wi-fi connectivity and beginning July 17 it will be priced at $140 and sold exclusively through Target stores.


Kobo Ebook Reader updates:

Canadian e-book retailer Kobo’s new $130 touch screen reader is lighter, cheaper and is said to be faster and more powerful. It’s definitely way cooler than the old Kobo reader, offering a new, sophisticated graphic home screen interface and it gives consumers the ability to easily synch their reading across desktop, phone and tablet devices. While none of this is unusual among the leading e-reading devices, Kobo continues to serve notice that it plans to compete in the international e-book market.


Nook Ebook Reader updates:

Hot on the heels of Kobo’s launch of a $130 e-ink touchscreen device, Barnes & Noble unveiled the Nook Simple Touch Reader, a $139 black & white e-ink touchscreen device with an upgraded 6” screen, faster page-turns and a battery B&N says will hold a charge for two months. The device will go on sale June 10.


Food for thought from Steph:

Ereaders and ebooks continue to be popular and many other companies are updating their ereaders or getting into the game. There's a lot more variety out there so if you're in the market for an ebook reader shop wisely.

An agent should not be your publisher. I think that's a no-brainer. if they are, who would look out for #1?

The big observation: There's a shift in marketing/promo strageties with authors taking on more responsibility. Social networking/media is hot. It's free and easy to reach people over the internet, but I think you still need a QUALITY project that will create buzz to stand out.


For those that are ebook authors it's always tough to get out and do a book signing. Where's the book, right? Consider this: Perhaps you could get with your local B&N or Borders and help sell their ebook readers. Go to the store for an hour or two, sit down at their ebook reader section and sell the book. You could have postcards, and other marketing items to sell your book as well. It's a win win for you the author and the bookstore. If anyone has done this, post a comment. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.



  1. Hey Steph,

    That's a good idea for ebook authors to help promote ebook readers. It seems all social media is not created equal. I'm on an indie published loop and some of those authors are having phenomenal sales while others are reporting abysmmal sales. I don't know the quality of their books so I can't say if that's the difference.

    E-readers are here to stay and more and more people are buying them. You can't hardly walk through an airport without seeing someone reading an ebook at every gate.


  2. Interesting change of how things are going. I've heard of a few agencies acting kind of as a writer's assistant in setting up covers and advertising, rather than an agent as well. I guess with writers changing, agencies will have to somehow change a bit as well.

  3. Maggie,
    For marketing, it's hard to know, but my gut tells me how much an author hustles helps. Not only that, I do think there's a bit of luck involved. I do think if ebook authors help to promote the ebook reader, it will help with their sales.

    Clover, I agree, agents have to change as well because there's simply not as much money in it for them. The whole "traditional" publishing model has to be revamped and if agents are getting cut out because they're the middleman, well, they have to find another outlet. Doesn't mean they should become digitial publishers to clients they represent though.


  4. Great blog. I think the SP authors are becoming less stigmatised as time goes on. A few years ago I would have shied away from it, but in recent months I am hearing that more and more authors are turning to this and allowing themselves to earn a good profit, rather than split it with a third party.
    The publishing world is changing and authors need to change with it or risk being left out in the cold.

  5. Wow, that's a lot of great information, Steph. I liked your ideas about book signing for ebook authors. Very interesting stuff. Great blog.

  6. Wonderful blog today. I love my eReader. I have a Nook and hate to read a paperback anymore. Blessings, BJ

  7. Great blog Steph. I love my ereader. I buy a lot of ebooks and have stopped buying paper books for at least a year. I do as much promo as I can with blogs and I don't think I can tackle any more.

  8. Interesting post, Steph. I too love my e-reader but I'm having to push myself to keep promoting my novel! Will revamp my blogs etc over the next couple of weeks and get stuck in again.

  9. Steph, thanks for the overview. The change is so rapid, now is the time to make your own rules where you can.

    I wondered what agents were going to do because I knew it would come to this point, given the decided downturn in traditional publishing, and the rise in small print/epublishing and indie.

    If an agent can successfully run their own publishing outfit, or become a promo expert for authors... well, why not? Although, selling to yourself. Nope, that's out and out misconduct. The only thing that will save her bottomside, is enough financial success to payoff the heirs, imo.

  10. Great overview. I especially like your idea of how to do a signing if you have an ebook, which I do. I'm also a publicist, and I agree that social media has changed how we market and publicize our books. The rise in ebooks has also allowed for books that cross genres, and don't fit into NY pubs neat little descriptions.